Onion Sambar Recipe

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Sambar is one dish that is synonymous with South India. There are many varieties made with different vegetables like onion, drumstick, radish, methi or a mix of vegetables like carrot, pumpkin, ladies finger, brinjal etc. Each vegetable imparts a different flavour to the sambar.

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Onion Sambar Recipe

Here is a very simple Sambar recipe with onions. It can be served with rice or as a side dish for idli/vada/dosa.
Course main
Cuisine South Indian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 78 kcal
Author Gayatri Vivek


  • 1/2 cup Tuvar Dal (arhar dal)
  • 2 medium-sized Onions (chopped in to big pieces)
  • 2 tsp Oil
  • 4 cups Water
  • 1 ½ tbsp Tamarind (paste/pulp)
  • 2 tsp Sambar Powder
  • 1 pinch Hing
  • Salt as required

For seasoning

  • 1 tsp Oil
  • 1 tsp Rai
  • 1/2 tsp Methi Seeds
  • 10 Curry Leaves
  • 1 or 2 Red Chilli (depending on the spice level you need)


  1. wash and soak dal in water for 15 minutes. Cook the dal in a pressure cooker for 3 whistles.

  2. In the meantime take a pan, add oil and fry the onions. Add haldi powder.

  3. After they become a little soft, add 3 cups of water.

  4. Let the onions get cooked completely. Then add the sambar powder and salt. Let it boil for 4-5 minutes.

  5. Now add the tamarind paste or pulp in 1 cup of water into the mixture.

  6. Also by now, the dal would be ready to take out from the cooker.

  7. Mash it till smooth and add it to the mixture.

  8. Mix it nicely and bring it to a boil.

  9. For seasoning, take a small pan, heat oil.

  10. Add rai, methi seeds. When they splutter, add curry leaves, red chillies, and hing. Switch off the flame.

  11. Pour this into the sambar mixture.

  12. Stir it and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes.

  13. Serve with steamed rice, idli, dosa or vada.

Nutrition Facts
Onion Sambar Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 78 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Sodium 16mg1%
Potassium 130mg4%
Carbohydrates 9g3%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 95IU2%
Vitamin C 50mg61%
Calcium 36mg4%
Iron 0.9mg5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Onion Sambar Recipe



  1. Ramakanth Pai
    • prabhat

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